Typhoon Jebi leaves trail of destruction across Japan

Clay Curtis
September 5, 2018

Airport officials said Wednesday it may remain closed for around a week.

At least 10 people have been killed in Japan by a powerful typhoon that has caused massive flooding, land slides and power outages across the country.

Amid strong winds and storm surges, Kansai International Airport, built on an artificial island nearly directly in the cyclone's path, suffered flooding to its runway and terminal building. Flooding covered the runways at Kansai International Airport in Osaka.

As the typhoon made landfall, a 71-year-old man was found dead under a collapsed warehouse, likely due to a strong wind, and a man in his 70s fell from the roof of a house and died, NHK public television reported, adding more than 90 were injured.

Powerful gusts ripped sheeting from rooftops, overturned trucks on bridges and swept a tanker anchored in Osaka Bay into a bridge to Kansai International Airport.

L: Damage is seen on the bridge linking Kansai airport to Osaka in Japan in this still image from a September 5, 2018 video footage.

Runways were flooded as high waves washed into the facility on Tuesday, knocking out electricity and inundating buildings.

On Wednesday, travellers stranded at Osaka's Kansai International Airport were being ferried by boat to another local airport.

As you might imagine, travel has been strongly affected with more than 700 flights cancelled along with Shinkansen bullet train services between Tokyo and Hiroshima.

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"We had a blackout so there was no air conditioning". The typhoon caused high tides in coastal areas of the Kinki region. "I never expected a typhoon to do this much damage", she said. Japan's national broadcaster NHK said Thursday that the death toll had risen to 11, hundreds more injured.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe canceled a scheduled trip to Kyushu, Japan's southernmost main island, to oversee the government's response to the typhoon, said Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga.

Airport officials could not say when the airport would resume operations.

More than 175,000 people lost power in western Japan, according to the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said, while more than a million people were advised to leave their homes by the Fire and Disaster Management Agency said. Around 16,000 people spent the night in shelters, local media said.

Japan is now in its annual typhoon season, and is regularly struck by major storm systems during the summer and autumn.

Jebi appears to have caused damage to the region's infrastructure on an unusual scale.

Elsewhere, the winds whipped away part of the ceiling from Kyoto station and peeled off multi-storey scaffolding attached to a building in Osaka.

In central Osaka, the wind sent a 100-metre-tall ferris wheel into a furious spin, even though its power had been cut off.

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